Long Tail Backlink Building Strategies

Long Tail Backlink Building Strategies for 2023


Building backlinks is one of the fundamental pieces of work you need to do if you have a blog. This is when another site links back to yours giving your site higher authority. The higher your authority, the higher you will rank in search results.

There are so many of these backlink building strategies articles out there. The long tail of it is trying to give you something off the beaten path that you haven’t seen before. Maybe it is harder work or less effective than some of the mainstream options, but they will get the job done nd move the line forward.


Publicity Marketing

The main mechanic of publicity marketing is that you have an “event”, you tell the world, and publications that have interest write about it. This strategy has a high yield for success and a lot of bang for your buck if you do it right.

An “event” doesn’t have to be an in-person gathering with hundreds of people. Launching a new feature, announcing a big partnership, hiring people, dedicating yourself to a cause, and deciding to have a design contest are all examples of events.

Take a real-life example. A board game media company puts out a new feature that lets critics provide additional game feedback. To get the most out of this, they prepare a press release touting the new feature and why it matters to the industry and consumers. The media company scours the internet for blogs that talk about board games, as well as, blogs that talk about cool advances in critic review technology, making a list with their emails. The media company emails the press release to the 100 contacts they gathered. 5 – 10 of those contacts resulted in a blog post talking about this new feature and linking back to the original board game media sight. Boom backlinks.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Come up with your “event”

This can either be organic of something you construct. The most important thing is that it needs to be something that people actually care about. It doesn’t have to be many people at all, but it needs to be significant enough that someone wants to write about it. This is the hard part of the publicity marketing strategy.

2. Determine your audiences

Who cares about your event? Break your event down into as many very specific niche audiences as possible. An audience is a grouping of people, often by demographics or lifestyle. Don’t just think of the obvious, go as deep as possible.

In our board game media company example above, the obvious audience is board games, but there are also specialized technology enthusiasts that might care or maybe mommy bloggers if this new feature really affects children.

3. Build your contact lists

Each audience should have its own list of contacts. Tabs on a spreadsheet is a good method. You want to find sites that speak to this audience and then you want to find their email. This is a good place for us to come in. This website (thebloggerlist.com) is a source of different publications that talk about niche topics.

Besides lists like ours, you can search google for “events” similar to yours and reverse engineering contacts by looking at which publications wrote about it.

4. Write a press release

Writing a press release is a refined skill that is not quite like anything else. It is all about the humble brag. You talk about why your thing is great without saying it is great. Publications are supposed to pick it up and they are the ones to say it is great. We put together a robust guide on how to write a press release, that would be helpful if you want to learn more.

5. Email out the press release

When emailing out a press release, there is no message required. Write “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” at the top and copy the press release into the email and attach it. The subject of the email should be “[PRESS RELEASE] The Attention Grabbing Title of Your Story”.

You put all your collected emails into the BCC field (hiding is important for mystique and stopping horrible reply all mishaps) and then you send. You may be asked follow-up questions that you should answer right away but you are basically done.

6. Stay Vigilant

You are not necessarily going to get word from any publication they posted something so you will need to check back. You should expect most coverage to come within 48 hours, but some stragglers up to around a week. After that, it is not really news anymore. When you discover something, sharing it on your socials with a tag or emailing them a nice note will go a long way towards building a relationship.


Meaningful Comments

The era of the comment section backlink has returned. Going on someone else’s site and then leaving a random comment on their article with your link used to be one of the earliest link-building strategies. It got so taken advantage of that several things were built to stop it.

This activity has cooled down, so now in modern times it is an area ripe for activity as long as you do a little human work and you make it meaningful. You will most likely need to log in somewhere to post comments, do it it’s worth it. Then you are in with free reign.

Make your comment relevant to the article and be specific, anyone who knows even a little can sniff out a broad and generic response. You do not need to overkill it with your link. There will be a spot to put your link. Put it there, no need to also advertise it in the message section. This will be enough to show up in your list of backlinks. If it is really relevant, then sure but don’t be spammy.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Find Places To Comment

Look at your competitor research from earlier. The whole goal is to find similar stuff to yours and your competitors are the best place to start. Go to their sites and find a post you feel like you have something to say about. Don’t go with the first post, go at least a few back so it seems more organic.

2. Navigate To The Bottom Of Page

Almost all blogs have a comment section. What is unlocked and the rules are where each one can differ dramatically in. Sometimes comments are blocked by a barrier, like you need to login and blocked all completely so you just need to look around until you find a way where you can post.

Some systems are uniform like the WordPress comments (different than you worpress site). You need a login for this but then once logged in, it is much easier to freely comment on many of the sites out there. Some might be one offs just for that site. Regardless, it is worth the time.

3. Leave A Quality Comment

In the message box say something about the article. You want to make a general point “you have an interesting point” and then you want to reference something specific that they said like “when you said Gretzky is the best artist in the game because of his vision, I could not agree more”.

You do not need to bring up your site at all but if you can do it organically, go for it. You should still focus on them first, but after you do that, feel free to make a connection back to you. Maybe you say something like “I actually did a study showing Gretzky’s vision got him in trouble I thought you would find interesting [link]”.

Think about who you are posting as, is your user name the site name or are you Greg from Idaho. One has authority and one has an interested consumer like you positioning, both can have value. It is up to you just make sure to put the right peg in the right hole.

The hope is that by logging in or jumping through another hurdle that any post you make goes straight onto the website. That is not always the case, sometimes they need to be reviewed before they are approved. If you have followed the rules here, even if a human looks at it they should give it the thumbs up for it to go live on the site because you have added value.




Interviews

If you reach out to someone related to what you are doing for an interview, it can result in you getting great content and a very linkable piece for them. You are providing valuable insights to your audience and they get to humble brag and show off their expertise.

This can be a podcast, video or print piece and if you get it in one medium, there is no reason not to translate it into other mediums. Transcribe a video for a print post or post podcast audio over relevant visuals for a video post.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Find Person Or Group To Target

You can have specific topics in mind, but it is ok and often encouraged to look for the interview subject first. It should be someone relevant to what you are talking about and hopefully someone interesting. Finding the person first is important because then you can build a topic and questions specifically for them.

Think about your industry or niche. You want people that run the business, come up with the creative or are bringing you something brand new you haven’t gotten before. You want people on the cusp of what you are doing, no one in direct competition with you. Having a spirited back and forth with a competitor is really nice and people really like it, but the point here is to get a leg up on them.

Affiliate income is most likely a part of your revenue model. Think about every product you could possibly sell and look at all the people behind it. Reach out to anyone who will talk to you. Whatever they say is relevant to your audience and you might get some exclusive thought that isn’t recorded anywhere else.

You could also target a group for a recurring feature. Everyone who releases a feature film at a festival, every person who launches a new board game on Kickstarter, and citizens of Topeka Kansas who turn 80 are all examples of a niche group you could target to answer a recurring group of questions.

2. Determine The Topic and Question

Once you know who are you going to go after you should really hone in on what the interview is. Not only what you are actually going to talk about but what is the overall purpose. You want to be able to put this down in a sentence or two because you will need to include it in your message in the next step. “I would like to interview you about your new book” (what) “to promote its upcoming release” (why).

You are going to need a list of questions prepared to send to them whether you are planning an email interview or in person one. You might want to get them in before you put a ton of work into this, but it is a good exercise because it will help you flush out the what the interview will be about.

A good question is one that is constructed to get the answer you want them to say. You can come across pleasant surprises along the way, but you should know what you want to get out of your interview subject going in.

A good number is ten questions (lots of good info without overwhelming them). You should be going on a journey, start with how they got there, then why they got there, where they are going from there and why people should care.

3. Email The Potential Interviewee

Once you are prepared, craft an email message and reach out to your interview target. You want the message to be unique, short, concise and sell the value for them above everything else. Be real, if you are giving someone a spiel about how being on your blog is the opportunity they have been missing their whole career, people are going to see right through that crap.

You do not need to launch into the interview questions and the whole message right off the bat. Your first goal is to make a meaningful connection, sell them on why it is a good idea and get them to agree to it. Once they agree, that is when you can send a much longer and more robust email with everything.

3. Conduct The Interview

If you are doing an email interview, you do not need any live interaction, you send them a list of questions in an email for them to address at their leisure. In addition to the questions, you want to include relevant info like deadlines, topics to touch on or stay away from and what the next steps are after they answer the questions. They will either write their responses into your original email or they will record their answers and send them back to you as a video or audio.

If you are doing a live interview, this is much more of an ordeal but follows most of the same steps. You still want to email them the questions in advance and any details but this has the added step of coordinating the actual meeting time. You will want to set up a time for a call or video meeting. You are going to want to record this, even if it is just for transcribing later, and if you do you should be alerting the subject of this at the beginning.

4. Launch Interview Content

Once you have the interview in hand, you need to turn it into whatever content you will release. To make the most impact, you want to push it out via as many mediums as possible. If they sent you a video response, put it on your Youtube channel but also transcribe it and make it a print blog post. Whatever you decided to do, just try and dress it up a bit and put it in the nicest box you can.

After you go live, you want to email the subject and tell them you have gone live with a link or links. Include a nice stat, or takeaway or thing you are excited about. The goal is to get them excited and make it as easy as possible for them to share the link. More than often, they are going to want to link to it from their site if there is a relevant space for it.


Competitor Mirroring

This is more a methodology than an individual strategy but these few simple steps and new way of thinking will get you closer to backlinking opportunities. The idea here is that you reverse engineer the backlinks your competitors have in order to get duplicate ones for yourself.

This requires tools, the most robust of which has a monthly price tag, but there are free options that will get you started. The range you see is everything like free Ahrefs Backlink Checker that just finds a site’s backlinks to the professional tool suite SEMrush that can give you a gigantic picture of anything you could possibly ever want to know.

Here are the step-by-step instructions:

1. Come Up With A List Of Competitors

By now you should have a spreadsheet or database with information on your competitors. If not, you should, you want to constantly keep in touch with what they are doing to keep pace and be inspired. You should have both direct competitors and competitors you inspire to match, as well as, both very direct matches with content and people that have just modest overlap. This gives you a better picture and more potential link avenues to explore.

To get started, before shelling out any money, go to https://ahrefs.com/backlink-checker and add the URL for one of your competitors in the box. This search will show you backlinks for that URL with information with the exact pages they are mentioned. Click on any individual link to see exactly where and how your competitor is mentioned.

3. Investigate & Act

Once you are able to see where a link exists, think about how you can get in on that action. Was it a result of something they did together, your competitor commenting, or a link to relevant information?

Maybe it is you coming up with a deep proposal or maybe it is just about sending a nice email so they know you exist, you should think about the work and then run a cost-benefit analysis. Backlinks are valuable so jumping through a few hoops to get one is worth it.

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